A Little Revolution, if You Please

Year after year after year, the public watches helplessly as Congress grows more and more fractious, unwilling to meet in the middle to achieve true consensus. We watch in anguish as the country’s gears grind slowly to a halt, the sand thrown into its mechanisms by corrupt and incompetent partisans destroying the machine built with the blood, sweat, and tears of generations. Did I say “helplessly?” That is patently false. The public clearly has the wherewithal to solve the problem. We just don’t have the balls. We buy into one of several specious arguments: 1) if we were to replace every single one of the bastards, the country would instantly descend into chaos because we would lose the “institutional knowledge” of long-time “leaders;” or 2) if we were to form a third party to challenge the status quo, “our side” (which one we happen to be on) would lose any semblance of power, relinquishing any hope of achieving even a semblance of balance. To which I say, “Bullshit!” Those arguments have been promulgated by the two major political parties as insurance against returning control of Congress to true representatives of the people. And we, the people, are too stupid or afraid or both to call them on their bluff. We have been trained and brainwashed and otherwise led by the nose; the Democrats and the Republicans and their fringe element off-brand offspring have succeeded in convincing us that compromise is un-American. At their behest, we have come to believe that compromise is synonymous with capitulation, at best, or that compromise is the province of, God forbid, communism! So we are willingly led by our noses to vote not for people who honestly want to solve the problems caused by stalemate, but by the very people who benefit most from it.

Braver Angels, formerly Better Angels, was created to foster communication between Republicans and Democrats; to break the deadlock at the citizen level. It was, and is, an admirable thing. But I am afraid it will not accomplish what it hopes to do. It will not rid us of the career criminals in Congress today. We need, instead (or in addition to), an organization that is clearly political in nature, but which aims primarily to oust every single member of Congress in favor of individuals committed, first and foremost, to compromise as a means of achieving their goals. That means conservatives who would in today’s world identify as Republicans and progressive who would in today’s world would identify as Democrats working to achieve their agenda through compromise. In other words, sometime like a return to 1950s and 1960s politics, but with mechanisms to prevent devolution into today’s political morass. Politics, in other words, in which legitimate differences in philosophy are argued passionately but civilly, with the most persuasive winning the debate. Clearly, that cannot be accomplished with today’s crop of seasoned criminals and inflexible ideologues. No matter how much we might appreciate or adhere to their philosophies, we cannot let their uncompromising passions guide our conversations. Calmer heads must prevail. Heads that recognize “you can’t always get what you want.” Heads that recognize that compromising in practical matters does not mean one is abandoning one’s principles.

The way we’re heading today is clearly in the direction of civil war; whether sooner or later I do not know, but I’d bet it is an eventuality. Our option is to drag the bastards, kicking and screaming, from power and to replace them with clearer, calmer, more intellectually and emotionally honest heads. End of today’s rant. For now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to A Little Revolution, if You Please

  1. Debbie says:

    Sounds like a perfect day to regain your strength. Enjoy what you are able of this wonderful season. Dreaming is a healthy pursuit. Sometimes dreams move on to reality. Life has a way of letting us chart a course that fulfills and delights. Keep on healing and find simple pleasures.

  2. Deanna, I understand entirely that, on first glance, it could be seen as parody. But it’s not. And though I agree it’s treading on thin ice to stereotype, but I think we’re past the point of taking the risk of “weeding out” the bad apples. We need to bring out the “RM43 Total Vegetation Control,” taking out the entire orchard so we can plant nonpoisonous crops. We cannot afford to just “complain” about seasoned politicians; we need to eliminate them and all their corrupt cronies. Okay…if the few truly good ones can be identified with certainty, I’d be willing to keep them; but their numbers would be very, very small. And, of course, I did not mention clearing out the kudzu who happily supported the dimwit criminals; guillotines can prevent them from reproducing.

  3. Deann says:

    At first, I thought your “rant” was a joke, written by a right-wing conservative in 2015. Please don’t take that as an insult. But you have to see that these words could have been written by someone I consider to be on the other side. I think it’s treading on thin ice to lump all people of any faction into the same category. Lumping all politicians into the bad guy category is too simple. The last time we heard complaints about seasoned politicians, look who we got. I agree there must be a better way, but after the last election, the fear of ending up with another Trump is enough to make me vote mainstream. Maybe in the next election a brand new fresh voice will be heard (think Obama) and many of us will be happy but again, truthfully, I hope those of us with the ability to see bullshit and call it that, as we did before, will squeak by again, and if that’s with a mainstream, seasoned politico, that sure beats the alternative of another four years of hell.

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